Best Butterscotch Pie

Sunday 26 September 2021

Butterscotch Pie 

I had a frozen pie crust that I wanted to use up so I thought I would bake another pie this weekend. I don't normally bake pies, two weeks in a row, but what the hey! You only live once.

When I checked my recipes I was really surprised that I had not already shared this delicious old fashioned butterscotch pie recipe with you!!

Butterscotch Pie 

Prepare yourself for a lifelong love affair because I have been baking and loving this pie for about 45 years now!  Its the best from scratch butterscotch pie you could ever want to treat yourself to! No fooling around.

The first year I was married to my second husband (the father of my children) my mother in law gifted me with a real treasure.  A small handwritten notebook of my husband and his family's favorite recipes.

Butterscotch Pie 

My ex-MIL was an excellent cook. She was an army wife, having lived all across Canada and in Europe. My FIL was a retired army cook, so you just know good cooking ran in the family.

This little notebook was filled with her tried and trues and it has been and is a real treasure to me.  The pages are well splattered and tattered with use over the years, some of the writing is even fading.

Butterscotch Pie 

I really need to copy everything in it out into another notebook so that I can have it saved for my children as it is a part of their heritage as well. These are the recipes they grew up enjoying as well.

My MIL is still going strong at 93.  She still drives and everything. I really love (d) Elizabeth. I know people like to talk nasty about MIL's, but I had the best MIL ever.  She was a real dear, very kind and long-suffering. 

Butterscotch Pie 

Back to the pie. This old fashioned butterscotch pie was my ex husband's favorite pie and dessert. In fact, every year he would request me to make one for his birthday rather than a cake.

I was quite happy to do so because . . .  truth be told, it is a favorite of mine also.  

Butterscotch Pie 

There is nothing artificial here. Just good old fashioned simple ingredients put together in a simple way.  

Seriously, you do not need to be a chef to make or bake this easy recipe. In fact if you use a frozen pie ready made pie shell (like I did today) it gets even easier!

Butterscotch Pie 


There is nothing out of the ordinary here.

  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie crust
  • Light brown sugar
  • Butter
  • cake flour (or a mixture of all purpose flour and cornstarch)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • Full fat milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vanilla extract

Best Butterscotch Pie 

You can of course make your own pie crust from scratch. I normally make my Butter & Lard Pastry.  Its the best, flakiest pastry. You can get to the recipe by clicking on the name.

It makes two single crusts or enough pastry for one two crust pie.  It is sincerely one of the greatest pastry recipes ever.

Best Butterscotch Pie 

The filling itself is a real doddle to make.  You do need to use a double boiler for this, or at least a facsimile of one.

If you have a heat proof bowl, you can easily replicate a double boiler by setting the bowl on the rim of a saucepan over simmering water.  Just make sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the bowl.

Best Butterscotch Pie 


You begin by mixing together all of the filling ingredients in the top of a double boiler. I do this by whisking together the brown sugar and flour/cornstarch mixture until they are well amalgamated, and then I whisk in the milk, salt and add the butter. 

By the time you have done this any lumps in the brown sugar will be no more. This then needs to be cooked over simmering water, whisking constantly, until the mixture bubbles and thickens.

Best Butterscotch Pie

This is probably the most labor intensive part of the recipe.  Standing there whisking.  Don't stop whisking or you risk lumps in your filling.

Once it has bubbled and thickened you need to walk away for 20 minutes, returning periodically to give the filling another whisk. This is so that all of the flour flavor cooks out of the filling.

Best Butterscotch Pie 

There is nothing nastier than a pie that tastes like flour.  Blech.

Next you need to whisk in the egg yolks, but not before tempering them first. All tempering means is whisking some of the hot mixture into the beaten egg yolk to heat them up a bit.

Best Butterscotch Pie 

If you add cold eggs to a hot filling you end up with omelette. You don't want omelette. You want a smooth glossy filling.

So temper your egg yolks first.  Just whisk the hot filling into them, a bit at a time. I would add at least 4 TBS of the hot mixture, one at a time, whisking constantly as you add each TBS.  

Best Butterscotch Pie 

Once you've done that you can whisk all of the egg mixture back into the hot filling and then it needs to cook for about 5 minutes longer so that the eggs are all cooked in the filling. You don't want to be feeding raw eggs to people, even if it is only the yolks.

Easy peasy.  Your filling is pretty much done. Just remove it from the heat and let it cool to lukewarm, whereupon you can whisk in the vanilla extract. I always use pure vanilla extract.

Best Butterscotch Pie 

You can now spread your filling into your baked crust and get on with making the meringue.  Meringue is really easy to make as well.

You will use the whites from your eggs to make your meringue.  You want to start with a clean, grease free glass bowl and, using an electric hand whisk, start whisking your whites on high

Best Butterscotch Pie 

Once they are foamy, you can continue to whisk them, adding the sugar a bit at a time until you have a really thick, satiny mixture, that is somewhat glossy.  

It should stand up in peaks when you lift the beaters out of it.  Spread this over your pie.  I tend to place more in the center of the pie than I do on the edges, although you do want all of the filling covered.

Best Butterscotch Pie 

I just dollop it all over the pie and spread it out with the back of a metal spoon, making peaks here and there like little snowy mountain tops.  Make sure it touches the crust of the pie all the way around That way you know your filling is absolutely covered. 

Then you just pop the whole thing into a moderate oven (350*F/180*C) and brown the meringue.  It doesn't take long, about 10 minutes and it will be perfect.

Best Butterscotch Pie

Seriously the most difficult part of making this pie is waiting for everything to cool down enough that you can cut into it. As you can see I have a problem with that. I can never wait quite long enough to dig in.

Ideally you should leave it for several hours.  But that is in a perfect world full of people who are not gluttons and who have plenty of patience.

That is not me!  Anyways, I really hope that you will be inspired to want to make this delicious pie and that if you do, you will agree with me in thinking that it is just the best Butterscotch Pie ever!

Butterscotch Pie

Butterscotch Pie

Yield: 8
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 40 MinTotal time: 45 Min
This is probably the best from-scratch butterscotch pie you will ever make. I stake my reputation on it. You will need a double boiler, or a bowl set in a saucepan over simmering water to make the filling.


For the Pie and filling:
  • 1 (9-inch) baked pie shell
  • 1 cup (200g) soft light brown sugar, packed
  • 5 TBS flour
  • 1 TBS cornstarch (cornflour)
  • 2 TBS butter
  • 1 cup (240ml) full fat milk
  • 2 large free range egg yolks
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For the meringue:
  • 2 large free range egg whites
  • 2 TBS fine granulated sugar


  1. Place the flour, brown sugar, cornstarch and salt in the top part of a double boiler.  Mix all together well. Stir in the milk and add the butter. (Alternately you can do this in a heat proof bowl which you can set in a saucepan over simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.) 
  2. Place over simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture starts to thicken.  Continue to cook for 20 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Beat your egg yolks. Temper them with a bit of the hot pie mixture, by adding some to the yolks a bit at a time, whisking it in.  Whisk the tempered mixture back into the hot mixture, combining well. Cook for a further 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and allow to cool. 
  4. Whisk in the vanilla, and then spoon the mixture into your baked crust. It will be thick, smooth and delicious. 
  5. Beat the egg whites until they start to get really frothy. Beat on high adding the sugar in a slow stream.  Continue to beat until the mixture doubles in volume and is thick and glossy and stands up in peaks. 
  6. Spoon and spread this over the cooled pie covering the filling completely. It should read the crust edge all around. Make some decorative swirls on top.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350*F/ 180*C/ gas mark 4.  Place the pie on a baking sheet and slid it into the oven.  Bake until the meringue is golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  8. Allow the pie to cool completely before serving.  Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Did you make this recipe?
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Best Butterscotch Pie

Handy Tip
- When cutting a pie which has a meringue topping, use a really sharp knife and dip it into hot water before every cut.

All of the content you see here on this page, both photography and written, are the sole property of The English Kitchen, Marie Rayner. Any reposting or misuse is not permitted. If you are reading this elsewhere, please know that it is stolen content and you may report it to me at mariealicejoan at aol dot com. 


  1. Butterscotch pie is my favourite custard pie. I've always used Jello Butterscotch Pudding and Pie Filling but this looks so easy. I'm going to make it. Have you ever used the microwave to make the filling, Marie? I may give that a try. Have a lovely Sunday. Love and hugs, Elaine

  2. I've never heard of Butterscotch pie. I can recall hard sweets you could buy called Butterscotch and a classic Aussie dessert called Sticky Date Pudding has a butterscotch sauce. But never a pie. You learn something new here every day!

    I love recipes that are handed down and treasure those that I've been given. I've made recipe books for my children and also for my grandchildren. These classics never go out of style and I hope that when they make the recipes it will stir fond memories of shared times - just as this has done with you and your MIL.

    I'm not a huge fan of sweet things, but my husband vacuums up anything with sugar in it, so I'm sure he'd love this.

    1. I love sticky date pudding. I love date anything Marie! I think your husband will love this if he loves sweet things, and it makes a smallish pie so he will singularly be able to snuffle it up no problem! xoxo

  3. I love anything caramel or butterscotch so I'm adding this to my list. I hope I'm patient enough with the whisking!

    1. That's the only thing that is challenging Jeanie. I once saw a thing that you could put in your saucepan that operated on batteries that did the whisking for you. I will have to look it up! xoxo


  4. I have a new love. It is Muscovado sugar. It's brown and luscious, and I could literally eat by the spoonful. I am not sure why I find it so much better than traditional brown sugar. I also do not know how to use it except for GBBO recipes. I was wondering how it might work in this type of pie. Do you happen to know if there is any reason why I could not use it instead of brown sugar?

    1. I am with you. I adore Muscovado sugar. As with brown sugar there are both a light and a dark muscovado sugar. I cannot see why you would not be able to use the light muscovado sugar in this recipe in place of the brown sugar. It has a slightly stronger hint of molasses and caramel flavor and I think would be quite delicious. In fact when I was in the UK I used only muscovado sugar in my baking that required brown sugar! Let me know how you get on! xo

  5. Hello! This looks so beautiful and delicious! Do you know if it is possible to use Gluten free flour in the filling??
    I am looking forward to trying this!

    1. I never have so I cannot say for sure, but if you have a good brand of gluten flour which works as a 1:1 replacement for flour, I cannot see why not. Let me know how you get on! xo


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